By Kalle Grahn – Guideline Power Team Sweden
End of season is the beginning of a new one – it all depends on the way you see things. But for all of us salmon and seatrout junkies its nevertheless a long long wait of dark winter, occasionally endured with flytying, maintenance, movies and talks. But there is a working cure.
Steelhead fishing is not supposed to represent a substitute, it’s undeniably an addiction by itself. But the thing with steelheading is that it overlaps perfectly with salmon season here in Scandinavia. It’s the perfect way to lengthen the season, staying true to the salmonids – without completely resorting to the option of saltwater fishing ;-).
The thing is that you’re probably in the height of your skills during this time of the year. You fished all the season, through heavy sinking lines all the way up the water column to fast moving tiplines and floaters. So, going over the puddle is pretty much a question of picking up just were you left off. You will not be readier for a challenge.
The towns of Terrace and Smithers are the obvious gateways to fulfill the dream of a hard fighting British Columbian steelhead. Here you find the nice Copper river the well-known Kispiox, the Bulkley and the mighty Skeena just around the corner. The abundant flyfishing shops is one way to hook up with a guide and drifting is the best way to learn and experience the waters.
Tiplines are the preferred choice for steelheading. The DDC-Connect has served its purpose and still work great with a set of tips. But the new 4D’ s work even better. Their superb casting capabilities for beginners all the way through to experts is due to the heavier butt section and great turnover. The loading of the rod is made easier and you don’t have to be as precise in your technique as with traditional Scandi-lines.
If you prefer to cast Skagit you just option for a slightly weightier line. These lines handle narrow conditions with overhanging trees and tight river banks great. The heavier butt section also helps to turn over and cast the heavy flies that are commonly used here. The heavy flies are the one big difference in fishing for steelheads and it takes some getting used to. The 4D’s are the way to narrow this gap and the dual density tips of varying sinking rate makes up for the prefect setup. Bringing both the floating head and the I/S3 and you are set for all conditions.
I’m right in the process of updating my reel-closet – changing all to the Vosso. The Quadra has done good for years but the Vosso is without a doubt the next generation of reels and the obvious choice for the picky fisherman. Lightweight though more rigid and firm than most of the heavier reels out there and with a smooth drag that really has a full span and great breaking power on top. And of course, loads of space for backing.
My favorite is the Vosso #911, versatile for everything but the heaviest of salmon fishing.
My choice of rods for a steelhead adventure would include a Switch rod, like the traveler friendly LXi 11’6’’ T-Pac #7/8, complemented with anything from the reliable LPXe 13’ #8/9 to the brand new nano-reinforced NT8 12’9” #8/9.
So what are you waiting for? Off you go, lengthen the season!
Below you can view a gallery with above pictures, plus additional supportive images. Images by Kalle Grahn. Images of Kalle captured by Jaap Kalkman.